Analyzing the Character of Don John in William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
The play Much Ado About Nothing was written and performed in the
Elizabethan period. It was set in Italy in a place called Messina. As
expected the play has an happy ending with a marriage, as it is an
comedy, except throughout the play you think it may end as an tragedy
with lots of talk of death and misery. The mood swings from light
comedy to dark tragedy.
The play appealed to the Elizabethans because it mirrored life of that
time. The play includes love, status and relationships between men
and women. Shakespeare play was popular because there wasn’t many
sources entertainment and he wrote it in a style that provided them
with varied emotions.
Shakespeare’s plays wouldn’t entertain us as much today because of the
racist comments; prejudice against women, as they were treated as a
possession and had no use beyond being a wife or mother. Today we
have different views on what’s entertainment.
We are generally more equal today, where as men (particularly
farthers) dominated Elizabethan society. This period was racist and to
be an illegitimate child you were seen as evil and malicious. This is
why Don John adds excitement; tension; drama and a dark side. As Don
John is a bastard child and wants to cause suffering to those who look
down on him he feels he has a right to claim the legitimate heirs,
therefore he’s a threat.
As a character don John is generally not thought that highly of.
Beatrice strongly dislikes him as shown when she says, “How tartly
that gentleman looks, I never can see him, but I am heart burned an
Hero also finds him too serious. “He is of very melancholy
disposition.” In both of these quotes it shows Don John to be a very
gloomy, depressed and sour looking character. One character who
admires John’s dark character is Borachio. He sees Don john as a
partner in crime. They schemed together as shown. “…To misuse the
prince, to vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonarto; look for any
other issue?” says Borachio. John then follows by saying, “Only to
despite them I will endeavour anything ”
When Don Jon is first introduced to the play he seemed reserved, quiet
and you’re unaware of what an evil character he is. “I thank you, I’m
a man of few words, but I thank you.” This quotation shows that he’s
a mysterious character and we’re wary of him. But later on in the play
he doesn’t seem to be so reserved as we first thought. “I cannot hid
what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no mans jest:
eat when I have stomach, and wait for no mans leisure” This statement
shows that he can’t hide who he is: he’s admitting that he’s an evil
man. “… It must not be denied but I am a plain dealing villain”
Don John cares for no on....